David C. Hespe

Hespe, David

Of Counsel Morristown, NJ

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David Hespe is Of Counsel to Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. and a member of the firm's Education Team. Having been appointed twice as New Jersey's Commissioner of Education, David is an accomplished policy leader with decades of experience throughout all levels of New Jersey and New York education matters. 

David handles a wide variety of education law matters for schools, school districts and higher education institutions, including personnel issues, student discipline, bullying, special-needs students, and litigation and other actions involving school policy. He counsels clients and education leaders on matters such as training, legislation, and strategic planning and governance. 

Well-respected in his field, he is frequently engaged to speak on topics such as education policy, school funding, and school reform. 

Prior Relevant Experience
  • New Jersey Commissioner of Education.
  • Burlington County College, President and Chief Executive Officer.
  • New Jersey Department of Education, Chief of Staff
  • Willingboro School District, Interim Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent.
  • Rowan University, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership.
  • New Jersey Department of Education, Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Executive Services.
  • Office of New Jersey Governor Whitman, Assistant Counsel for Education and Higher Education.
  • First Assistant Attorney General for the State of New Jersey.
  • New Jersey Office of Legislative Services, Associate Counsel.
Speaking Engagements
  • "Responding to an Employee or Student Showing Symptoms, or Positive Test Results, for COVID-19," Porzio Employment Law Forum, October 27, 2020.
  • "The Old School and the New - Considerations for School Re-Opening," Porzio Webinar, July 7, 2020.
  • "New Jersey Schools Update: Considerations for Graduation and Other Commencement Ceremonies," Porzio Webinar, June 4, 2020.
  • "All On-Board: How to Recruit and Safely Bring Talent to Your Team," Porzio Employment Law Forum, October 2019.
  • "Roundtable: How to Choose the Right Security Professional for Your District: A Guide to Selection, Addressing Administrative and Legal Issues," New Jersey School Safety Symposium, Porzio Compliance Services, Morristown, NJ, March 29, 2019. 
  • "Panel: Planning and Developing a School Safety Plan: Do's and Don'ts," New Jersey School Safety Symposium, Porzio Compliance Services, Morristown, NJ, March 29, 2019. 
  • "Workplace Safety: Is it Better Not to Know? Hint: Of Course Not," Porzio Employment Law Forum, Morristown, NJ, October 3, 2018.
  • "Data Privacy & CyberSecurity: Practical Steps to Protect Your School," New Jersey Association of School Administrators, Monroe Township, NJ, May 23, 2018. 
  • Keynote address, ASAH's 5th Annual Symposium for Business Office and Human Resources Personnel, South Iselin, NJ, May 18, 2018. 
  • "Data Privacy & CyberSecurity: Practical Steps to Protect Your School," New Jersey Association of School Administrators' TECHSPO '18, Atlantic City, NJ, January 25, 2018.
  • "Tips From The Firing Squad: Best Practices For Terminations," Porzio Employment Law Forum, Morristown, NJ, November 15, 2017.
  • "Communicating with Confidence," New Jersey School Business Officials Annual Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, 2017.
  • Keynote address, New Jersey State Bar Association Annual School Law Conference, Woodbridge, NJ, 2017.
  • “Helping Your Child Succeed,” Keynote address, New Jersey PTA Annual Legislative Conference, Plainsboro, NJ, 2016.
  • “Education Policy and Advocacy: What’s in the Best Interest of Children,” Keynote address, New Jersey School Boards Association and PTA, Trenton, NJ, 2015.
  • “A Plan for New Jersey: Where Do We Go From Here,” Keynote address, New Jersey Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Annual Conference, Monroe, NJ, 2015.
  • “Education: Our Mission and Challenge,” Keynote address, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association Annual Conference, Monroe, NJ, 2015.
  • “Partnering Together To Improve Education in New Jersey,” New Jersey Education Association Annual Convention, Atlantic City, NJ, 2015.
  • “The State of Education in New Jersey,” Keynote address, Annual New Jersey School Boards Association, Superintendents Association and Principals and Supervisors Association Workshop, Atlantic City, NJ, 2014.
  • “A New Vision for Workforce Development,” Annual Conference of the New Jersey Utilities Association, Galloway, NJ, 2013.
  • “School Reform Jersey Style,” National Superintendents’ Roundtable Forum, Pemberton, NJ, 2012.
  • “Education Reform in New Jersey: What, How, Where, When?” Garden State Coalition of Schools Fall Forum, New Brunswick, NJ, 2011.
  • “Efficiency and School Funding,” Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton, NJ, 2009.
  • “Opportunities in Education,” Fattah Conference on Higher Education, Philadelphia, PA, 2008.
  • “School Finance and Facilities,” Invited address, New Jersey Council of Education Commissioners’ Forum, Bridgewater, NJ, 2007.
  • “Legal Issues for Superintendents,” New Jersey Association of School Administrators, Glassboro, NJ, 2007.
  • “Issues in School Law Today,” 8th Annual Principals Institute, Rowan University, NJ, 2006.
  • “Advocacy and Lobbying,” College Bound Association Annual Retreat, Atlantic City, NJ, 2004.
  • “Education Issues Facing the Latino Community,” 2nd Annual Latino Education Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, 2000. 
  • “Urban Education Reform,” National School Boards Association Annual Legislative Conference, Washington, DC, 1993.
  • "The First Significant School Regionalization Legislation in Nearly Three Decades," Porzio Education Law Update, March 2021. 
  • "Liability For Educational Decisions: Student Grading and Placement in the Age Of COVID-19," Porzio COVID-19 Resources, May 28, 2020.
  • "School Safety Preparedness: Know Your Resources," Porzio News Letter, March 2018.
  • “Conflict Between Personal and Professional Ethics: Putting Theory Into Practice,” Paper presentation at Twelfth Annual Values and Leadership Conference, College Park, Pa., 2008.
  • “Education,” Book chapter in The Atlas Project, Mapping New Jersey: An Evolving Landscape, Rutgers University Press, Piscataway, N.J., (Accepted for publication May 2007).
  • “Valuing School Diversity,” Paper presentation at the Annual Conference of A.E.R.A., Chicago, Ill., 2002.
  • “Parents, Teachers, Business Must Prepare Students for Workplace Challenges,” Article published in New Jersey Business, The Magazine of the New Jersey Business and Industry Associations, Vol. 46, No. 5 at 16, May 2000.



Related Media

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York


Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, NJ, J.D., 1985

Rutgers College, Newark, NJ, B.A., 1982.

Contact Address

100 Southgate Parkway

Morristown, NJ 07962-1997

Phone: 973.538.4006

Fax: 973.538.5146